Attention Los Angeles Marijuana Operators: We’re about to get “zoned”

Jay Lauren

Draft OrdinanceIt’s time to stand up, folks, and say your piece on the draft Ordinance being proposed by the City of Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles’s draft Ordinance makes clear there is a sense of urgency required, in order to put our City’s regulatory act together, and to begin issuing licenses. They will be holding a public discussion of the draft Ordinance next week – full details of the draft Ordinance, along with zoning maps for different license categories/business types, can be found at the following link (Draft Ordinances). The Public Hearing time/date information is as follows:
When: September 14
Where: Los Angeles City Hall in the John Ferraro Council Chamber (Room 340)
Time: According to the LA Cannabis Task Force announcement, the item is scheduled to be discussed at 11am. (We’ll keep you posted if there are any changes, and notify via Twitter as well – so please follow us for updates: @marijuanamedia)

All items in bold are taken from the draft Ordinance:

When the final ordinance passes, what this means is fairly clear and simple:“It will be unlawful to conduct any Commercial Cannabis Activity in the City without a license issued by the state of California and by the City’s Department of Cannabis Regulation.” There are almost 1000 dispensary locations that exist in LA on any given day. How many will become licensed through the City and State legal process is still unknown at this point. Today’s Operators may step up; or they may become tomorrow’s black market. Nobody’s seen the ticket price yet, but we fully expect sticker shock.
The tone of the draft Ordinance suggests the City is uncomfortable, to say the least, with the Beast it’s about to unleash in Los Angeles. In regulator-speak, the industry’s viewed as having “negative impacts”. Collectively, we have a role to play to change the tone of the discussion and the mind-set of regulators, and build this City’s industry with a focus on “positive impacts” (taxation, job creation, community involvement in a positive way, to name a few). On “negative impacts”, the draft Ordinance states:
The draft ordinance helps to reduce the likelihood of crime and promote positive health outcomes by controlling the proliferation of commercial cannabis activity and restricting the location, in particular, of retail-type cannabis businesses, which have been associated with criminal activity, nuisance behavior, and negative secondary effects.
The draft ordinance contains location restrictions that limit the sale, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products to certain agricultural, commercial and industrial zones and require businesses engaging in on-site sales of cannabis to maintain an additional distance from specified categories of sensitive sites, as well as from other businesses engaging in on-site sales of cannabis.
These restrictions will help to reduce the likelihood of crime and associated negative secondary impacts on neighborhoods by discouraging over-concentration of cannabis retail businesses with on-site sales in the same neighborhood, so that no single area becomes a destination for cannabis retail and the anticipated instances of crime and nuisance behavior remain isolated from one another.
Take note, budding entrepreneurs: scrap the idea of a marijuana mini-mall. The zoning discussion will not only effect retail/dispensaries, but all businesses.
“Commercial Cannabis Activity” includes the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, packaging, labeling, transportation, delivery or sale of cannabis and cannabis products as provided for in Division 10 of the California Business and Professions Code.
CA License Type 10 – Retailer. The draft Ordinance proposed a minimum of 800-foot separation for zoning:
Outside of an 800-foot radius of a School, Public Park, Public Library, and Alcoholism or Drug Abuse Recovery or Treatment Facility; and outside of an 800-foot radius of any other Retailer or Microbusiness Commercial Cannabis Activity having on-site retail sales, which is licensed by the state of California and licensed by the City’s Department of Cannabis Regulation to engage in the Commercial Cannabis Activity defined in this section. (Exception: Any Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity with sales to the public limited to off-site deliveries and having no on-site sales shall not be required to be located outside of the 800-foot radius cited in this Paragraph.)
Also, there will be no business that’s not a pre-approved and inspected business: “Each person seeking a compliance document from the City’s Cannabis Commission shall be subject to site-specific land use review and a determination by the Zoning Administrator and appellate decision-maker.” It will not matter if that business is (theoretically) “grandfathered” on the City’s former compliant list of stores. The draft Ordinance makes this clear: Section 105.04 NO VESTED OR NON-CONFORMING RIGHTS: Neither this Article, nor any other provision of this Code, or action, failure to act, statement, representation, recognition, certificate, approval, permit or license issued by the City, its Department of Cannabis Regulation, its departments, or their respective representatives, agents, employees, attorneys or assigns, shall create, confer, or convey any vested or nonconforming right or benefit regarding any Commercial Cannabis Activity beyond the activities provided by the licenses issued to such activity by the state of California and the City’s Department of Cannabis Regulation.
If any of the above will have an effect your business, we recommend attending the meeting. Please use the links below to SHARE this.